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I identify as... Stop! It's what I am.


The expression "identifies as" gets used a lot when talking about trans and non-binary people. It's also used by a lot of bigots to denigrate the trans experience. It's an expression that I would like to see fade away.

I think the single biggest problem with the notion of saying something like "I identify as [X]" is the implication that you are not actually "X" and that you have internally established that relation after the fact. This is where I would challenge this notion as NullBlanc describes it:


That's an entirely succinct way of putting it really, it describes the essence of the trans experience. I do not "identify as" a woman, I am one. I want to be a woman in the sense that I like and enjoy being a woman and would not want to be a man, not because I am not a woman and wish to be one. This is simply "is" as a state of being.

The notion of "identify as" entered the lexicon of the trans conversation a long time ago. For a while, it may well have been useful to help people understand the concept of transness, but I feel like the time has passed. Today, many bigots latch on to this concept. There is, of course, the classic wit of "I identify as an attack helicopter, nyuck, nyuck" but lately that has been expanded by "conservative" politicians to things like "I identify as vaccinated."

We don't need this noise. I don't identify as a woman, I am one. Discussion over.

 




Comments

  1. Except that this carries the danger of being used to discriminate against gender fluid/ bi-gender people as not being 'really' trans. I identify as male most of the time, but as female when I wish to express and present that other side of me.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think that it does. People are gender fluid, bi-gender, nonbinary, and more. They can express that in many ways, all of which are valid. The trans umbrella is large.

      Delete
  2. I agree. It should go away, just as should "trapped in a man's body" and "born this way."

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